Cassava suman is a Filipino delicacy made with grated cassava (kamoteng kahoy ), coconut cream or grated coconut and sugar. My aunt’s cassava suman recipe with latik and shredded young coconut meat is the best. All the ingredients I used to make this dessert were all pre-made except for latik (coconut granules). You can get frozen grated cassava, frozen shredded young coconut meat, banana leaves and canned coconut milk in Asian stores. I’m not aware if they carry pre-made frozen latik too.
It is optional to add young coconut meat and latik, but I never omit these two ingredients when making cassava suman. They add flavor and texture to this dessert.
When we were growing up, we visited my Mom’s home town of Nueva Ecija once or twice a year. Cassava suman is one of my aunt’s specialty. My brother and myself devoured the suman like we’ve never had it before. For some reason, my mom never made this. On our trip home, my aunt always handed us a big bag full of cassava suman. Yeah!
What does the term “Suman” mean?
Suman refers to Filipino rice cake made of plain or glutinous rice flour. In this case, the recipe is made of cassava.
This is one of the kakanin I miss a lot after moving to the States. Relatives brought back cassava suman when visiting the Philippines but it was not as good. It was frozen and not as fresh anymore.
For years, my cousin and myself tried making it, but it was not the same. We experimented using grated coconut, placing cassava in the blender but the texture was not close to my Aunt’s suman. It tasted fine but the consistency was not the same. Something was off. After many tries, baffled and frustrated, we gave up.
A few years passed and I am once again intrigued in making it. Called my Aunt and compared my recipe with hers. My recipe was indeed right. The only thing different, I steamed mine while she boiled hers. I was so excited like a young kid. This time, fingers crossed, I boiled it in water. Like magic, that was the trick. Finally, I got the texture I was looking for. I can’t believe, this simple recipe eluded me for years.
In my opinion and my personal preference, boiling in water gives me a finer and stickier texture. Again, if you prefer steaming nothing is wrong with that.
Now, when craving strikes, I can easily make this snack and enjoy it. Also, it is one of the kakanin requested during our Christmas gathering.
Filipino tamales is one of my favorite kakanin and have made it for ages. One day, I decided to steam it instead of boiled. Again, it tasted good but I prefer the finer texture when boiled.
What does “Kakanin” mean?
Kakanin is a Filipino term referring to all native delicacies. Cassava suman for example is categorized as kakanin.
How to make Cassava Suman Recipe
If you’ve never had Cassava Suman with latik and young coconut meat, try this recipe and you might like it. It is simple and easy yet delicious and one of our favorite snack (merienda) or kakanin.
Watch my video “How to make Cassava Suman with latik and young coconut meat”. Magluto na tayo!
Cassava Suman Recipe
Cassava Suman is one of the popular Filipino delicacy (kakanin) made of grated cassava, coconut cream and sugar made special with latik and shredded young coconut meat.
- 2 cups grated cassava (frozen, 1 lb, 16 oz)
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup coconut cream in can
- 3 tablespoons latik optional
- ½ cup young coconut strips optional
- 6 wilted banana leaves
Place canned coconut milk in the fridge for 2 hours. When opening the can, cream has formed on the top layer. It is best to use the cream instead of the liquid portion.
Prepare 6 wilted banana leaves measuring about 6 inches wide by 10 inches long.
Wash banana leaves and pat dry with paper towel. Turn the stove on low and pass both sides of the leaf on top of the burner until soft and flexible. Set aside.
Add grated cassava and sugar in a bowl. Mix well.
Stir in the coconut cream.
Lay a banana leaf and place ½ cup of cassava mixture, 1 ½ inches away from the edge of the banana leaf. Spread cassava mixture thinly about 5 inches long forming a log.
Add latik and shredded young coconut meat on top of cassava mixture.
Fold the edge of the banana leaf covering the cassava mixture and roll tightly. Be careful not to tear the leaf. Fold and tie both ends with a twine or banana leaf strips. Repeat the process.
On a wide deep skillet, add and boil water enough to cover the cassava suman. When water is boiling, lower heat. Add and submerge the cassava suman in water and simmer for 45 minutes. When done, place cassava suman in a strainer to drain water.
Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!
This was originally posted on November 30, 2018 and updated.